‘Virtual STB’ OpApp specification published by HBBTV
The HbbTV Association has completed and published its Operator Applications (OpApp) Specification. It’s designed to let TV operators offer set-top box functionality direct from apps.
Partnering with TV manufacturers, the specification enables TV operators to provide an operator-branded experience as an application on TVs, essentially creating a ‘virtual set-top box’.
OpApp Trials 2018
The first OpApp trials are expected to take place in various countries in 2018. If adopted by TV operators, these apps have the potential to cut costs involved in developing and managing set-top boxes.
Built on HbbTV 2.0, operator applications (OpApps) can run immediately after the TV is turned on. Enabling function like any other TV source – for instance a cable input or HDMI device.
The OpApps can be used with any type of network that is supported by a connected TV – including satellite, cable, terrestrial and IPTV. The specification is designed to offer a foundation that multiple operators can use and many TV manufacturers can implement.
The OpApp specification describes how the HbbTV browser can run both HbbTV broadcaster applications and operator applications at the same time.
“The HbbTV Association is pleased to publish the specification for OpApps, knowing that we will improve customer satisfaction and user experience,” said Klaus Illgner, chair of the HbbTV Association.
“The benefits will be realised across the board with manufacturers, broadcasters, operators and content producers, making the overall viewing experience more sophisticated and tailored to the consumer.
“The OpApp specification is a significant achievement with active participation across the entire value chain, resulting in a balanced specification that serves a well-understood market need with an experience that consumers will love.”
The specification details how operator applications are discovered, installed and how they can replace the TV’s native user interface, including access to the TV’s remote control keys.
The OpApp specification can be downloaded from the HbbTV website.
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